St Declan’s Way route from Cashel, Co Tipperary, to Ardmore, Co Waterford, has exploded in popularity over the past decade.

Often labeled “Ireland’s camino”, the ancient pilgrim route covers 115km of gorgeous countryside, travelling almost directly south from Tipperary, through west Waterford to the coast at historic Ardmore.

Each year since 2016, with the exception of 2020, Knockmealdown Active has organised a five-stage walk of the route, complete with return bus service and refreshments when arriving to each destination.

Knockmealdown Active is a multi-community initiative tasked with promoting tourism and trade throughout the towns and villages at the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains.

Knockmealdowns from Lady's Abbey outside Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary.

These include Ballyporeen (home of folk singer Gemma Hayes), Clogheen, Goatenbridge, Ardfinnan and Newcastle.

Voluntary organisation

This year’s event takes place over three weekends in March and April.

Starting at the Rock of Cashel, stage one travels towards Cahir on Saturday 18 March. The next day, Sunday 19 March, stage two will depart from Cahir along the banks of the River Suir towards the village of Goatenbridge.

Cahir Castle from the River Suir.

With a break for two weekends, the third stage will take place on Saturday 8 April.

While the other four stages are slightly more than 20km long and are mostly flat or undulating, this stage is 28km and traverses the Knockmealdowns. So be prepared for some exertion.

If the weather is playing along, you will be rewarded with majestic views of the land below.

Expect to depart from Goatenbridge, ascend the Knockmealdowns along the Newcastle to Mount Mellary road, then descending down to Lismore for the completion of this stage.

This stage is being run in conjunction with Pilgrim Paths Week 2023, which takes place in the period around Easter Week.

This week-long festival covers a range of events encompassing many of Ireland’s pilgrim routes, from Donegal to Kerry. Further information on other events taking place during the festival period can be found at

Into the hills

Stage four and five will be completed over the May bank holiday weekend on Saturday 29 April and Sunday 30 April.

On the Saturday, you will be treated to some breathtaking scenery of west Waterford as you make your way from Lismore to Aglish.

For the final stage, the route will wind along pretty reclaimed ancient walking paths, which meander on to the beach at Ardmore, home to St Declan’s Monastery and Round Tower.

With such a walk completed, surely you will be entitled to a 99 on the beach as a reward.

The price for each St Declan’s Way stage is €45. The prices include bus transfers to the walk start point at each stage, volunteer stewards and marshals to guide walkers and regular water stops and medical assistance on hand. Refreshments will be served in local community halls at the end of each stage.

Knockmealdown Active says that, unfortunately, due to insurance reasons, dogs cannot be brought on this event.

Full information on the event can be found at

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